May 21, 2012 at 11:00 am #1290160
So here is the second trip report. Two weeks ago I posted the first report about going with our 10 year old daughter on the B2B hike.
That is the name we gave to a 60 mile hike that goes from the San Francisco Bay to Waddell Beach at the Pacific Ocean.
When our family picked us up at the beach, our 8 year old daughter asked whether I would do the same hike with her. Of course! Who would ever say "No" to a child who wants to hike? She wanted to bring back the water that her sister brought from the bay to the beach. For logistical reasons we decided it would be better to stick with the original hike and also bring water from the bay to the beach.
So on Friday right after work we went to Baylands Park in Palo Alto where Natalie and I each filled a vial with Bay water.
Right there at the Bay is the old Sea Scout building that looks like a ship.
On Friday we hiked 13 miles from Baylands Park through Palo Alto, Stanford, Arastradero Park to Towle Camp in Foothills Park.
Saturday morning we first made a hot chocolade for breakfast before we continued on to Los Trancos Open Space Preserve, where we enjoyed the view back over the Bay where we came from.
Our next goal was Mr. Mustard at the parking lot at Saratoga Gap to eat hot dogs. That meant to hike another 14 miles by lunch. While hiking through Foothills Park, Los Trancos OSP, Monte Bello OSP, Upper Stevens Creek County Park and Saratoga Gap OSP, Natalie pointed out flowers and wildlife.
After a nice lunch we continued our hike through Castle Rock State Park. After 90 minutes Natalie said she is tired. Hhhmm. Ok, so lets take a nap. We looked for a nice flat spot next to the trail and rolled out our sleeping bags. At first she was looking at all the things going on around her – butterflies, birds, pine cones on the trees, but then she fell asleep. Almost an hour later she woke up and was absolutely bubbly. She didn't stop talking for the next two hours. We made good progress through Castle Rock State Park towards Big Basin, where we visited the "Loving Parents Woodland Grove" which is a special place for our family.
But before that we had to cross China Grade Rd on our way along the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail. And guess who was waiting at that spot. Mommy! Our sons brought her there with a backpack filled with yummy Chinese food. So we had a nice family dinner and Natalie talked about her big adventure so far. My wife joined us for the rest of the hike. When we finally camped in Big Basin Redwoods State Park, my wife tried to explain to Natalie that she just hiked 30 miles in a day which is more than a marathon. Marathon didn't mean anything to our 8 year old. She didn't know what a marathon is and she insisted that everyone in her 3rd grade class could do this — "All you need to do is walk". OK, if she says so …
We had all of Sunday for the remaining 17 miles. Natalie played a lot between the redwoods
and enjoyed the waterfalls towards the end of our hike.
Finally we could see the beach.
We both emptied our vial of Bay water into the Pacific Ocean
Natalie showed proudly the GPS with exactly 60 miles (we had to walk a quarter mile along the beach to make it exactly 60)
It was a lot of fun to hike these 60 miles with my daughter. It was very interesting to see how different my two daughters were in their hiking styles. Natalie required frequent breaks to eat and drink – otherwise she would just forget it. Hannah on the other hand would eat her snacks and drink while hiking whenever she got hungry or thirsty. Natalie also needs a nice afternoon nap. She would nap for almost an hour on Saturday and on Sunday. That re-energizes her and she is then ready to go for more.
These hikes are very special to me. Having so much one-on-one time with a child out there is wonderful.
Next thing these two little girls want to do, is to hike the JMT from Yosemite to Mt Whitney. Who would I be to say no to that …May 21, 2012 at 12:28 pm #1879867
Great post and photos. I'm the father of four daughters (21, 17, and 5 year-old twins). I've taken all of them on weekend trips but nothing approaching 60 miles. It's inspiring and you're absolutely right: Who are you to question when they want to spend more time hiking.
It says a lot about you and your wife as parents…Good job and please keep up the posts.May 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm #1879881
We also have four daughters … and we also have twins … for a total of 6 kids. That makes these one-on-one trips very special. The time spent together is what makes it memorable – the miles hiked are absolutely secondary. It just so happens that our younger daughters like to cover a lot of ground and experience many new sights. Natalie was excited about every banana slug she saw – she hiked at quite some pace while counting them. Along the way she would then also find millipedes, caterpillars, broken bird eggs, a big moth, many different flowers. Every climbed ridge meant new exciting views for her. If you are so little everything looks so much bigger. We just let our kids decide what they really want to do and try to make it happen. That is sometimes challenging when every kid wants to do something different (hang out at the beach, hike, fish, bike, stay at home and read a book, etc.), but between my wife and I — and with the help of our 17 year old twin sons we are pretty good about giving everyone a turn (sometimes even on the same weekend).
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